A major part that plays into you having a productive day is the time that you spend resting the night before. Sadly, 50-70 million Americans have a sleep disorder, 25 million of them reporting to have obstructive sleep apnea. Did you know that drowsy driving is responsible 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually just in the United States? Not getting enough sleep not only directly affects your mood and productivity, but it directly affects your well-being. You don’t even have to be on the road to be at risk. While you think you’re sleeping peacefully, your respiratory and cardiovascular system is working in overdrive to combat irregular breathing habits. Dr. Willison and Dr. Dahl are working to prevent any more dangerous drowsy traffic accidents by providing treatments for sleep apnea in Dallas.
What is sleep apnea?
There are three main forms of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form. While you are sleeping, you experience pauses in your breathing or very shallow breaths while you sleep. These pauses can last from just a few seconds or continue all the way to a few minutes at a time, which is a huge danger to your general health. Irregular breathing patterns can stop and start anywhere from 20 to 30 times in just one hour. When you start breathing again, you will normally start with a loud snort or choking sound. The biggest risk factors associated with sleep apnea are breathing cessation (interruptions) and the sleep deprivation that follows that disruption. You may experience these symptoms if you’re dealing with any form of sleep apnea:
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Loud, chronic snoring
- Difficulty focusing, especially at work or while driving
- Dry mouth or a sore throat
- Exhaustion, irritability, and/or depression
Sleep deprivation takes a huge toll on the overall quality of your life. You are constantly tired and most likely cranky because your body is lacking critical rest. The toll irregular sleep takes becomes evident quickly, making the simplest tasks difficult to focus on. Your increased irritability will eventually affect your relationships with the loved ones around you. If you would like more information on the other two forms of sleep apnea, visit our sleep apnea page for greater details.
What treatment options are available?
For the longest time sleep apnea was treated with a machine known as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). Patients tend to build an intolerance to this machine due to its discomfort. It’s large, bulky, and quite loud for patients to deal with while they’re trying to achieve a full 7 to 8 hours of rest. Thankfully, the Dallas Center for Oral Health & Wellness has an alternative option for sleep apnea in 75230. Our dentists can prescribe a custom-fitted oral appliance that holds the lower jaw in place to prevent irregular breathing. After wearing the appliance, many patients have reported that their snoring has stopped, sleep has become more consistent, and they can enjoy a full night’s rest again.
If you are feeling drained day after day, or you suspect that a loved one may be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Our sleep apnea dentists are here to help you get the sleep that you need and deserve every night.